Tuesday 24 April 2018

Man accused of assaulting ex-partner tells court he was five miles away at the time

Declan Brennan

A SLIGO man accused of assaulting his former partner has said he was staying at a house five miles away when the attack happened.

His alleged victim Una Webb had her face cut open from ear to nose by a man who attacked her as she was walking her son to school.

Fergal McNulty (42) of Whitworth Road., Drumcondra has pleaded not guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to assault causing harm and assault causing serious harm to Ms Webb on St Anne’s Road., Drumcondra on September 3, 2009.

Sligo-born McNulty told Padraig Dwyer BL, defending, that on that morning he was at the house of Jane Kane, who is the aunt of his girlfriend Michelle Jenkins

He estimated that this house at Cois Cualann, Ballybrack, is at least five miles from the scene of the attack.

He said he had called over to Ms Kane’s house two days earlier after a disagreement with his girlfriend. He said Ms Kane told him he could stay and he was still there when the attack on Ms Webb took place.

He denied having anything to do with the assault on his former partner, saying: “I’m completely, one hundred per cent and absolutely innocent of this charge. I had no hand, act or part in it.”

Under cross examination he told Garret Baker BL, prosecuting, that “it was obvious” that he discussed Ms Kane’s version of events with her but that he didn’t know how many times.

He added: “If you’re suggesting I put her up to something then that would be untrue”.

He told Mr Dwyer that the two women waited 18 months before going to gardai with their alibi evidence because they were “extremely frightened and reluctant”.

Ms Kane said that the accused man had asked her to go to gardai with her evidence soon after his arrest but she was very reluctant because she was in ill health and her own mother was dying.

She told prosecuting counsel that she never discussed her statement with anyone else and she denied that she was covering up for Mr McNulty.

She said: “Indeed I am not, I wouldn’t do it for him or anyone else. He’s not my priority”

Michelle Jenkins said she saw Mr McNulty on the day of the assault when she called to her aunt’s home at 10.30am to deliver shopping. She said she didn’t tell gardai for 18 months because she was grieving for her grandmother.

Evidence has finished in the trial. On Monday Judge Patrick McCartan is due to send the jury of six men and six women out to begin their deliberations.

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News